NEPA Sports Nation

Coleman, Zalewski steal AH win

By Tom Robinson,

CLARKS SUMMIT – First, Maggie Coleman and Madison Zalewski took the ball away.

Then, they took it to the basket.

Coleman scored twice and Zalewski once on contested drives directly off their own steals in the first 1:20 of the fourth quarter Monday night, rallying Abington Heights past visiting Montrose, 35-26, in a non-league girls basketball meeting of ranked teams.

The baskets off turnovers produced the first 6 points of a 13-0 run to begin the fourth quarter and put the Lady Comets ahead to stay after trailing for more than 18 minutes during the first 3 quarters.

“We wanted to pressure them in the fourth quarter,” Abington Heights coach Deanna Klingman said. “We didn’t do a good job in the first half keeping people in front. And, what complicated things is we couldn’t buy a bucket.”

Abington Heights needed 36 shots to make 7 in the first 3 quarters. The Comets made 7 in the fourth quarter alone, but largely because of the chances the defense created, they needed just 10 attempts.

All but one fourth-quarter basket came from close range.

Madeleine Walsh scored on a putback. Peyton Houlihan converted a Kate Scoblick pass from the high post into a layup. Zalewski converted another steal for the game’s final points with 2:11 left.

“I said, if we were not hitting our shots, we had to create something,” Klingman said, “hopefully create some turnovers and get some runouts, which we did.”

Caroline Murray, who was 3-for-7 from 3-point range, and Coleman scored 11 points each to lead the Lady Comets, who have won three straight since dropping their first two at a tournament in Hazeton.

The No. 5 Big School in the Riverfront Sports Super Six Power Rankings of District 2 teams also got six points, six rebounds, six steals, four assists and two blocked shots from Zalewski.

“Maddie Z was excellent on defense,” Klingman said. “She creates a lot of havoc all the time.”

Scoblick missed her only shot attempt, but led the team in rebounds with seven and also provided three assists.

Montrose, the No. 4 Small School, is 0-2. The two-time defending Lackawanna League Division 4 champions have had late leads on the road against Lackawanna Division 1 opponents in both outings, including Friday’s opening, 53-50, overtime loss at Valley View.

“We played very well,” Montrose coach Todd Smith said. “I thought we played super, then we made two quick turnovers at the start of the fourth and it seemed like we lost our heads a little bit.”

Montrose had 7 of its 17 turnovers in the fourth quarter. Houlihan made four steals and Coleman three for Abington Heights.

The Lady Meteors were led by Hayley Pompey with 8 points and 10 rebounds. Paley Adams also had 10 rebounds.

Montrose held Abington Heights scoreless for the last 5:10 of the first quarter and the first minute of the second quarter to move in front, 8-2, the first of three six-point leads the Lady Meteors held.

Murray’s 3-pointer and Zalewski’s backcourt steal and drive for her first points 13 seconds later gave Abington Heights its first lead since 2-0, putting the Lady Comets ahead, 20-19, midway through the third quarter.

Mya Snyder’s layup off a back-door cut and Aspen Smith’s drive after tracking down her own rebound sent Montrose into the fourth quarter ahead, 23-20.

The Lady Meteors went scoreless, having trouble even getting off shots, for the next 6:36 as Abington Heights took the game’s biggest lead, 33-23.

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